Newsletter 10 February 2012

Nepal raffle at Interview Day

Dear reader!

Thanks to the small 230 families, who on Saturday found their way to the New Students interview on Saturday despite severe cold and snow on the way up through Jutland. We had a terrific positive day with the sun shining brightly over Ranum. After being interviewed about interests, home life, schooling and goals for the stay, the future students and parents could hear about next school year's initiatives, the profile subjects, the international department and the new profile subject expeditions during the Globalisation period. Refreshments were served in the canteen and several places hosted student presentations from recent trips to Nepal, India, Miami, Ghana and the Nordic countries. The students also showed around the school. The future students and especially the parents praised the current student team for their great commitment and great storytelling, and the weekend team was totally bombed after a long Saturday.

Presentation of the Ghana Expedition 2012

The week has offered on Compulsory Self-Selected Assignment, OSO and project writing. It has been a marathon of work for most students, interrupted only by a few pleasant moments and an evening outing to Fjerritslev Gymnasium's annual Musical, on Tuesday evening. It has been a very peaceful week, where the students have enjoyed themselves and once again it is great to see what happens when about 246 students throw themselves into independent projects alone and in small groups. There are always both fast and slow starters, so the tutors have been busy throughout the week coordinating and following up with their group of students. In Year 10, the OSO assignment also required students to create a product for their project, targeting their future education and career choices.

The musical at Fjerritslev Gymnasium kept the students busy and we had to hire an extra bus as the turnout was unexpectedly high. The performance was an interpretation of The Lion King, so the songs went down well with the group of students who heard it from the cradle. It's great to be able to take a large group of pupils out of the house and feel that they are good guests and appreciate a good experience.

We have also been out of the house on another occasion, as I, along with a colleague and a few former students, have been the fair Education without borders in Odense on Wednesday and Thursday. We were together with AFS Interkultur and therefore we had a lot of visitors. The theme of the stand was "Education beyond all borders" and we were visited by around 2500 young people and adults at the stand. We had made a quiz where the guests could win sweets, fruit or chocolate if they could point out Ranum on a map. It was a real challenge and we found the people of Funen to be very locally patriotic. There were a lot of afterschools from Funen at the fair and almost all the students we spoke to lived on Funen. This was surprising, as almost all students at Ranum Efterskole go to an after-school school far from home and have thus stretched the umbilical cord a bit further. The message to the people of Funen must therefore in future be "go over the water - and the Lillebælt bridge is even free and with just 3 hours to Ranum, the parents will also have a little more weekend peace 🙂 We were happy to exhibit on Funen and had to say hello and say that Funen is just as nice as Ranum is nice!

In the pedagogical case of the repatriated boys, 4 returned on Sunday and the last 4 have been to another interview about the process. We experienced again that both time and distance give space for reflection and self-insight. The big question kept coming up, how could the boys party on an ordinary Wednesday night, and the answer was uncovered over several conversations: those involved formed a subculture around their night-time community, and when, after the private student party in December, there was alcohol in a room, they besieged the community with it. Each of the group reflected on what made them not speak up, and the unequivocal answer was that each was afraid of being socially frozen out by the others. This negative group dynamic is not unknown in either adult or teen groups, and the experience that it can be really hard to break away has been one of the boys' realizations. This past week we have also been working in the teacher group on the question, can we accommodate the last 4 boys, and as we have come to that conclusion we would like to try. So the boys are back at the after school from next week on a "backpack scheme" where they have nothing more with them than they can take the next bus if it doesn't work out.A few are also moving room so the group is physically split up. In addition, a number of tasks will be divided up so that they can do something for the community and the school in return for all the negative attention they have demanded. We have both the parents' and the boys' word that there will be no more problems. Both students and staff are aware that we all have a common task in terms of restoring the community environment and trust in the returnees.

At the other end of the educational spectrum, we were all pleasantly surprised today by a mother who sent her daughter and everyone at Ranum Efterskole 300 carnival buns for your birthday. The kitchen was alerted and served hot cocoa. Lovely birthday surprise that brought smiles everywhere!

In the coming week there are presentations of projects and OSO assignments every day of the week. We will end the week with parent talks and there will also be the opportunity to discuss the school's pedagogical practices with the headmaster. There will also be presentations from the profile subject teams on an ongoing basis.
 Programmet er annonceret på /images/website_filer/pdf/Program%20foraeldresamtaler%2017.2.2012.pdf

The winter holidays also start on Fridayand we look forward to a well-deserved holiday in week 8. School is closed and will reopen on Sunday 26 February. Tonight the Student Party Committee and the Parent Council will hold the 3rd Student Party of the year with over 200 students. We hope that it will be a very good and safe party and appeal for no alcohol or tobacco etc. at school after the weekend, please!
At Ranum Efterskole we have hosted a festive evening for the villages around Vilsted Lake, organised by the village and citizens associations. We started with a dinner inspired by the 1970s and ended with a great concert by Mikael K band, Klondyke, who has just released a CD entitled Udkantsland - Tonight we were the center of a great local community in the unique setting of the banquet hall!

Best regards and have a great weekend!

Olav Storm

In line with last week's newsletter, which brought you some reactions from parents, below we bring you a post from one of the boys who has been sent home and who, without being asked, wanted to explain himself:

Post to Newsletter Friday 10.2.2012

It all started when I had some alcohol left over from the last private "student party" (16/12-11) that we had to bring alcohol to. On Wednesday 25/01-12 we unfortunately decided to have a kind of "party" up at the school. It is not only the repatriated who are affected. It affects the rest of the school much more. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on people's faces when we told them we'd been sent home. It's a life lesson we've learned!
What the 8 of us did that evening/night is in no way acceptable. First of all, we have created a great distrust among our teachers, other students, as well as our parents. Which will be difficult to rebuild, but I am quite sure it can be done as long as we talk about things.
I believe we should be given a chance again because everyone deserves a chance in life. Of course we should have a punishment, but at the same time I would like to say that being repatriated without knowing if you can come back is a huge punishment in itself. Most people see a repatriation as a kind of holiday, I would like to sign that it is in no way. I'm sure the rest of the returnees, as well as our parents, will too. xxxx

An apology to the school, the parents, the teachers and all the students at Ranum efterskole.
What happened on that Wednesday night is totally wrong in every possible way, and we are deeply sorry. We are very happy that the school has decided to give us another chance to show that we are good boys.
I have been asked to explain why my roommate brought alcohol to school. At first we just talked about it, the kind of talk where you never think it will come to anything and it had been like that for a while. But one night we were writing together and we both thought it would be fun to have a beer at school. Soon others were on board with the idea. After the one time when it went well, we thought that nothing happened to it, and we did it again and it went completely wrong that Wednesday night. We all know it's deeply wrong, and afterwards we think it occurred because that night end didn't give the same rush anymore. We talked to each other afterwards about how to make sure this never happens again, and how to make sure nothing stupid on our part ever happens again. We have agreed that we will talk to each other if you start to feel that you are falling back into the bad track. I have an agreement with my contact teacher that we talk a couple of times a week. I also have an agreement with many of my other friends who have said that they will give me some advice and help me to stop getting into trouble. I apologize once again and I can't say it enough, we are really sorry for what happened.

(The letters speak for themselves. This is the first time that students who have been repatriated will be able to report in the Newsletter. and comments are welcome!)